Whether you have experienced hearing loss due to age, overexposure to noise, or a medical condition, learning to adjust to your new normal can be challenging. Social gatherings can be especially difficult, as they often take place in noisy settings that make hearing difficult. Adapting takes time, but there are strategies you can use to decrease frustration.
1. Plan Ahead
When you know that you are going to need to attend a large, noisy event, planning ahead is vital. For family events, such as weddings or dinner parties, see if you can request to sit in a location that allows for better hearing. For example, if you are going out with a group, see if you can sit at a quiet patio table instead of a table inside a loud restaurant. While it can be difficult to ask for help, most people should be understanding, and you may be surprised by how much of a difference just asking can make.
2. Change How You Listen
Cultivating a few new habits can make it easier to navigate social situations with hearing loss. When speaking with others, look directly at them and listen for context clues to help you stay aware of what is being discussed. Most people appreciate attentive listeners, so doing these things can benefit everyone involved.
If you find you are having difficulty hearing, tell the people you’re with. This ensures that they understand you are not trying to be rude but you genuinely are having a hard time making out the conversation. This should encourage them to use better articulation, which makes it easier for you to hear.
3. Use Hearing Devices
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, fewer than one in three adults who would be able to hear better through the use of hearing aids actually use them; however hearing aids and similar devices can make coping with hearing loss substantially easier.
The lack of use of hearing aids by many who need them may be partly because they come with their own adjustment period. When you begin to use hearing aids, they may feel irritating or uncomfortable in your ears. You may notice that things sound different, or that the volume of sounds, such as your own voice, seem off.
These are all things that should start to feel more normal and less irritating as your body and mind adjust. Stick with it, and don’t be afraid to go to your audiologist if you have questions or if something seems to be going wrong with the device.
Get In Touch With HEAR Center
Even if you have already experienced some hearing loss, it is still important to protect your hearing to keep it from getting worse. If you know you are going to be in a loud environment, consider using earplugs to protect your ears. Keep the volume low on music and TV, using closed captioning if necessary. While it may not be possible to restore lost hearing, keeping it from getting worse is often achievable through proper care.
If you or someone you love is struggling with their hearing, you don’t have to face these challenges alone.
Contact us today to learn more about our services or to make an appointment:
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Also, for more information about CAPD please visit our webpage: https://www.hearcenter.org/services/central-auditory-processing-disorder/